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Women In Wellness: Urska Sršen of Bellabeat On The Five Lifestyle Tweaks That Will Help Support People’s Journey Towards Better Wellbeing

An Interview With Candice Georgiadis

Photo Credits: Sanja Jagatic

Do things that scale! Scalable technologies like apps, are the best examples. They grow fast and adapt with ease. More and more companies are looking for ways to keep their current systems ready for growing business needs and the flexibility the apps offer is a sure way to future proof your business.

As a part of my series about the women in wellness, I had the pleasure of interviewing Urska Sršen.

Urska Sršen is the Co-founder of Bellabeat, a leader in wearable wellness tech who launched IVY, the first health tracker, exclusively designed and developed for women. Ivy is the successor to the Bellabeat Leaf, the company’s first smart jewelry product, which was named the overall best smart jewelry product by Business Insider and has sold more than two million units to date.

Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series! Our readers would love to “get to know you” better. Can you share your “backstory” with us?

My Co-founder and I started Bellabeat in 2014 after spending a couple of years working on a remote patient monitoring system and going through the Y Combinator program in San Francisco. The experience we had in the field of tech driven health for women gave us unique insight into the market of quantified self and wearables, which was at the time starting to grow immensely.

What we saw was a flood of products developed with the male user in mind. This was understandable because almost 10 years ago now, tech was predominantly developed by male engineers and entrepreneurs. We saw that as a great opportunity.

We decided to create a brand that develops tech driven products with the focus on the female user. Since then, we’ve worked to break the mold and challenge the status quo with each of our innovative products. We now have a whole ecosystem of connected products and digital experiences created to help women track and improve their physical and mental health.

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started your career? What were the main lessons or takeaways from that story?

One of the best tips I have ever received was from one of our investors who, after panicking about something, just said to me, ‘Nobody cares.’ Not in the sense that what I do is irrelevant, but that we all experience our failures and challenges much more intensely than others around us. It completely relieved me, I stopped thinking about what other people thought and focused on work. I would give this advice to anyone who is at the beginning of their career. Focus on what you want and what you do, forget everything else and relax. I have met mega-successful people who are my role models, and who have great successes and great failures behind them. It doesn’t define you as a person.

Can you share a story about the biggest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?

I had trouble handling stress my whole life because it manifested itself in a physical way, so I started looking for ways to control it, measure it, and deal with it. What I have noticed works best is a lifestyle change. That is, when I am well rested, eating healthy and working out regularly, stress does not affect me in the same way — even when I find myself in a stressful situation, I am calmer about it. I invested all that knowledge and experience into Bellabeat products. That’s how our core lines of products came to be, which include the Leaf, Spring, and finally Ivy, which measures heart rate and cardio coherence and serves to monitor your body’s reactions to everyday decisions you make. It is very interesting to me how we can train the body and the mind at the same time and thus achieve another state in which external influences, which cause stress, do not touch us so much.

Let’s jump to our main focus. When it comes to health and wellness, how is the work you are doing helping to make a bigger impact in the world?

Women’s health has always been pushed into the background, from the onset of Bellabeat we decided to change that. Until recently, we turned an almost exclusively male industry into an equal female game and finally, it is time that in the development of medicine, wellness, and health technology, we speak through the prism of both men and women.

The special feature of our products is that they are completely tailored to the female user, which could mean as many as 4 billion women worldwide. In addition, women are 75% more interested in technological products to monitor and improve health. Although some of our products are technologically similar to competing products, our application, data processing algorithms and product appearance are tailored to women’s health and lifestyle.

A very important part of the Bellabeat user experience is also the Bellabeat Coach. Bellabeat Coach is integrated into the Bellabeat app, which connects all of our smart lifestyle and health tracking gadgets. The coaching segment provides users with access to an extremely wide range of content in the field of fitness, beauty, mindfulness, and other topics related to women’s psychophysical health. Bellabeat Coach works with our extremely impressive personalization algorithm.

The personally adapted algorithm adapts the content to the user and suggests it according to the data recorded by Bellabeat’s smart jewelry, connected bottle, or entered by the user in the application. In this way, we help women adjust their exercise, meditation, diet and other daily routines to her life rhythm, recovery responses and menstrual cycle.

Such a personal approach in the wellness program is innovative in the field of wellness for women. So far, most women have actually followed training, nutrition and better living advice programs that have been developed based on knowledge and data about men. Such programs do not take into account the connection between the female hormonal cycle and the associated cyclical changes in the body and mood. At Bellabeat, we believe that so far, the path to set goals for improving psychophysical health has been more arduous for women. I firmly believe that with our individual-tailored approach, we make it much easier to achieve the set goals for improving and maintaining psychophysical health.

Can you share your top five “lifestyle tweaks” that you believe will help support people’s journey towards better wellbeing?

  1. Exercise to relieve stress and anxiety.
  2. Track your cycle for better focus and a better overview of your overall health and wellness.
  3. Stop thinking about things you can’t change.
  4. Get rid of toxic people.
  5. Allow yourself to fail sometimes.

If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of wellness to the most amount of people, what would that be?

I think I have already started a movement. It’s called Bellabeat.

What are your “5 Things I Wish Someone Told Me Before I Started” and why?

  1. Nobody cares! When you don’t stress about what other people think you can focus better on your own achievements.
  2. Believe in your own instinct and ideas! You know best what is good for you and your business.
  3. Surround yourself with positive people and ideas! Those kinds of people make it easier for you to see beyond your own limitations.
  4. Have fun! Because it is fun!
  5. Do things that scale! Scalable technologies like apps, are the best examples. They grow fast and adapt with ease. More and more companies are looking for ways to keep their current systems ready for growing business needs and the flexibility the apps offer is a sure way to future proof your business.

Sustainability, veganism, mental health and environmental changes are big topics at the moment. Which one of these causes is dearest to you, and why?

Definitely, mental health! Everything starts and ends with your mental health. Our mind is a powerful tool, and it affects us in ways we sometimes can’t even understand. We are putting so much focus on our bodies and most of the time we forget that nourishing our mind is equally important.

What is the best way our readers can follow you online?

I try to combine my real life and my social media life so your readers can follow my efforts on my Instagram account @urska.bellabeat.

Thank you for these fantastic insights. We greatly appreciate the time you spent on this

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